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Windows 8: 100m licenses sold but actual user base much smaller

Sam Loveridge


Windows 8
Windows 8

Microsoft recently announced that it had sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses in six months, but the actual user base number is much smaller than that say analysts.

The Microsoft statistic suggests that there are 100 million Windows 8 users, but the licence sale figure doesn’t directly correlate to PCs users actually running that version of the Microsoft OS.

“We recently surpassed the 100 million licenses sold mark for Windows 8,” said Microsoft CFO and CMO Tami Reller. “This number includes Windows licenses that ship on a new tablet or PC, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. This is up from the 60 million license number we provided in January.”

The licenses sold figure includes any PC or tablet with Windows 8 installed, but all of those units are not in the hands of customers. It also includes any consumer who bought a Windows 8 license that allows them to download Windows 7.

Seeing as Microsoft has already developed the Windows 8.1 or Windows Blue upgrade for Windows 8 due to consumer complaints, analysts suggest that actual userbase figures for PCs and tablet users actually running Windows 8 are a fraction of the 100 million licenses sold.

Patrick Moorhead, a principal analyst with Moor Insights and Strategy suggested that the real Windows 8 user numbers could be calculated by any company that records web visits.

Net Applications’ NetMarketShare service counts website hits according to platform, while StatCounter measures internet users in a way that adjusts according to the country they originate from.

Taking the number of PCs claimed to be running Windows OS in general worldwide, said to be 1.4 billion by Reller and Windows Divison’s Julie Larson-Green, it is possible to work out the accurate Windows 8 user base numbers.

For the month of April, StatCounter showed Windows 8 users accounted for 4.74 per cent of the share, equating to 66.4 million PCs running the latest Microsoft OS. NetMarketShare though only saw Windows 8 users account for 3.82 per cent, or 53.5 million Windows 8 users.

Whatever way you look at it, and these figures are only estimates, Windows 8 doesn’t quite have the 100 million users that Microsoft claims it does.

Are you relieved Windows Blue might take Windows 8 back to its roots? Read our feature and find out why Microsoft is backtracking with Windows 8.1 Blue.

Via: Guardian


May 10, 2013, 2:42 pm

This is the same as saying, "1 billion cans of coke sold but actual coke consumers much smaller." When Samsung sales a processor to Apple to put in an iPad do we not count the processor sold until Apple sales the iPad? Why the double standard?

At any rate, 60 million is a HUGE number. If we were talking about Chromebooks 60 million over 2.5 years would be cited as the definitive end of the PC. Windows has sold that many in 6 months and the tech media raises a collective eyebrow?


May 10, 2013, 5:38 pm

Well Sam, using your logic, iOs have a lower usage than we believe.

In global stat counter, in the may month, in operating system worldwide, the chart show that windows 8 have 5.26% (near to top vista) and iOs 3.81%

So, if according to your logic, if win8 have "only" 60 million "real" users, a simple arithmetic operation show that iOs only have 43 million real users, that is real?

I think no, iOs is one of the most widely used tablet smartphone OS, and their user base is more than 43 million real users, so the number of win8 real users is higher than your calculations.
Please do a real journalism and check your facts.

Ronald Schneider

May 20, 2013, 3:22 pm

I know a guy who is friends with a guy, who overheard that there is a guy in Utah using Windows 8. So, I think there are something like four users of Windows 8 now.

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